The AFL Commission’s decision on the venue to host the first AFL grand final outside of Victoria will be made this week, with a meeting scheduled for Tuesday, but there is a chance the time may be changed with the AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan relocating to the AFL’s quarantine hub on the Gold Coast.
McLachlan will join other senior executives who are already in Queensland, and with significant material from four states – Queensland, Western Australia, NSW and South Australia – to wade through before any decision is made, it is expected to take time for the AFL Commission to make its call.
Queensland is considered favourite due to the relationship it has fostered with the AFL in 2020 allowing Victorian and NSW-based clubs to relocate to Queensland.
Gold Coast chairman Tony Cochrane, who was with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk when she presented the bid to the AFL last Tuesday, said the state’s co-operation had saved the game with the AFL playing 80 games at the Gabba, Metricon and Cazaly Stadiums in 2020.
The Queensland government is understood to have subsidised part of the initial hub involving Fremantle, the Eagles, Port Adelaide and the Crows before the AFL began spending $4 million a week on accommodation for Victorian teams and their families when the 10 teams relocated.
Western Australia still has strict border controls but continues to emphasise the financial benefits in playing the grand final at Optus Stadium while South Australia made a strong pitch with travel between Queensland and Adelaide possible without quarantine. SA Premier Steven Marshall flagged a fly-in, fly-out option for executives and VIPs based in Victoria.
On Saturday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said he was unclear when crowds would be able to return to events at the MCG. The AFL, the Victorian government and the MCG remain in discussion about the process of relinquishing the grand final.
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